HUGGING ROBOTS

Robots are taking over the world. With a shocking quickness. Silently, however. Sneaking up on us.

Robots are working assembly lines, in warehouses, cleaning homes, even making love.

Now comes the hugging robot. Five years in development. The goal to design robots to give hugs humans will love.

Makes sense. People love to give and receive hugs.

Success almost here. Hugging robots being fine tuned at this stage.

Yesterday busy. Especially during the day. Many errands to run.

Squeezed in lunch at Sandy’s Cafe.

Last night, the Chart Room.

Packed. Surprising. Key West is into off season.

Jean Thornton’s birthday was being celebrated. Many celebrating with her.

Barb, whoever you are, where were you? You wrote and asked to meet me and if I would sign your copy of Irma and Me. I replied ok. Chart Room wednesday at 6. I was there. Apparently you were not. I asked several women if they were Barb. No Barbs. Bartender John was asked to look out for you also.

What happened?

On the way home, remembered I had not eaten. Stopped at Five Guys. Two cheeseburgers lettuce wrapped. No fries. A diet meal.

Another doctor visit this afternoon. Part of getting ready for my Cleveland Clinic visit. Following the doctor visit, I will be stopping by Liz’s for a drink and some interesting conversation.

My KONK Life column a couple of weeks ago concerned Black Caesar the Keys Pirate. Today Port Royal, a Caribbean pirate haven.

Port Royal was a small island off Jamaica. Six thousand five hundred residents. All one way or another involved with piracy.

The island headquarters not only for piracy, but also smuggling and debauchery. It has been described as the “most wicked and sinful city in the world…..one of the lewdest in the Christian world.” In other words, a fun place.

On this day in 1692, 3 powerful quakes hit Port Royal. A large tsunami, also. At one point, half the island was under 40 feet of water.

Port Royal’s population 6,500. Three thousand died that day. Thousands more in the days following the quakes.

Port Royal could not be rebuilt. People thought it was built on coral like Key West. Turned out not to be. Strictly dirt. The mud remaining prohibited rebuilding.

Undaunted, the pirates moved operations to Jamaica itself. Built a new city. Called it Kingston. Today, Jamaica’s largest city.

Trump is a historian of note. Written with tongue in cheek, of course.

Yesterday, he did it again. While he and Trudeau were having a heated telephone conference re the tariff issue, Trudeau asked how Canada could be a security threat to the United States. Trump’s reply was to the effect that Canada had burned down the White House.

Canada did not put the White House to the torch. It was the British. During the War of 1812. At a time when Canada was not even a nation. It did not become one till 1867. During the War of 1812, it was a British colony.

A year earlier, the U.S. had invaded Canada and burned down York. York today Toronto. The British were burning down the White House in retaliation for the Americans having burned the British colony of York.

The interesting and generally unmentioned story of the White House and its burning involves Dolley Madison. Dolley was the wife of then President James Madison. The White House had been evacuated. Dolley remained with a handful of workers.

Her concern was the portrait of George Washington. She did not want it to fall into the hands of the British.

The painting was screwed into the wall. The screws would not come out. Dolley ordered the frame broken and the canvas removed.

It was only then that she swiftly departed to avoid capture.

When word got out of her courage and the saving of Washington’s painting, Dolley became a national heroine.

A hundred years later, some historians claimed Dolley was not the person who saved the painting. She had long fled. It was some house slaves led by a Frenchman overseer type.

The Dolley Madison heroine story is considered more reputable.

Before I receive a ton of e-mails, Dolley is spelled correctly. The “e” is part of her name.

I sometimes wonder what Trump studied in college. It is obvious he did not read history books.

Enjoy your day!

 

JUNE 6, 1944…..MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN THE 20TH CENTURY

June 6, 1944 was a dark ominous day on the beaches of northern France. The precise location, Normandy.

Allied troops landed on the beaches. One hundred seventy six thousand. Accompanied by 14,000 aircraft. The invasion of Europe had begun.

Ships involved constituted the largest armada ever. The largest amphibious military operation in history.

June 6 is considered by many as the most important day of the 20th century. The first step on the road to Germany. To a victory of good over evil.

Americans fought side by side with Canadians, British, and French. Among the same people Trump is defecating on today.

The admonishment to keep enemies close does not mean disregarding friends.

Were it not that today is D-Day, the lead topic would have been: I LOST 41 POUNDS! Wow. Took 7 months and 1 week.

I have been stuck at 38 pounds for a month. Previously, I have gone 2-3 weeks without losing a pound. Then 3-4 in one day. The scale does not lie. Today, the elusive 3 pounds.

Tuesdays generally a stay at home day. My podcast Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou is in the evening. I spend the afternoon fine tuning the show. So it was yesterday.

Two topics especially interested me as I thought they would those listening. The turmoil of 1968 and Bayer buying Monsanto.

Nineteen sixty eight found Robert  Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. being killed. The Vietnam War was at it speak. Ripping our Nation. Riots in the streets. Johnson opted not to run for a second elected term. The Vietnam War would have made his reelection impossible.

Monsanto not the best of companies. Its pesticide Round Up and certain of its products grown unhealthy. Monsanto opposed world wide. While the U.S. was welcoming and protecting Monsanto with legislation, many countries were throwing them out. Even Russia. Putin told them to go do their thing in the U.S. who apparently did not care if its people were killed.

The news this week is that Bayer is buying Monsanto. The closing tomorrow. Bayer has advised the name Monsanto will never be used or uttered by it. Also that certain of Monsanto products would be reevaluated for safety.

We shall see.

What have we become? Who are we? Presently, 11,000 children taken from their parents by immigration authorities. To temporary detention and then something a bit better. Too many, however. No where enough places to send them. Not even enough beds and blankets to comfort them.

Children involved run from babies to teenagers.

Attorney General Sessions is pleased. His plan. To discourage people from attempting to enter the U.S. Even those trying to enter legally.

The program cruel. Appears the children are being caused to suffer because of the sins of their parents. Trying to find a better life for themselves and their children.

Sessions has 3 children, 10 grandchildren. How would he and his wife have felt if his 3 children were taken away when young. Or, any of their 10 grandchildren today under authority of some asinine stupid mandate.

Paul Butler had a right on article in today’s Vanity Fair. Its title: “The Policing of Black Americans Is Racial Harassment Funded By The State.”

Many things bother me. Most difficult to understand. Today’s involves Trump/Putin and war with Russia.

Trump said yesterday he speaks regularly with Putin by phone. Sounds like the two are buddies. Everything kumbaya.

Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Mattis advised NATO to prepare for a Russian attack with planes, ships and troops.

A happy recollection. On this day in 1933, the first drive in movie opened. Called a Park-In Theater at the time.

Drive ins enjoyed their hey day in the late 1950’s into the mid 1960’s.

Drive ins during high school and college were a good place to neck. Loved it! Half the parking area were teenagers and young adults kissing.

As the young people got older, they became parents. The drive in still a good place to go. Young Moms and Dads had an evening out. The kids in the back seat with pillows and blankets sleeping. Parents in the front seat. Watching the movie, not necking.

So it was.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLY

An important thing in life. Children’s birthdays! Today, my granddaughter Ally’s is being celebrated.

Thirteen years old. Definitely a young lady. The flower is blossoming.

Ally’s birthday was Friday. Conflicted with Robert’s graduation. Ally wanted her own day. It began Saturday. She had her hair striped.

Terrible! Too young! I am merely a voice in the wilderness, however. Not the parent, not my decision.

What I really was expressing is it pains me to think she is maturing. Not a little girl any longer.

Last night, a sleep over. Which means Ally will be beat this evening for the family birthday dinner, cake, etc. Perhaps a bit grouchy.

Can’t win them all!

In any event, I love you Ally. A big Happy Birthday to you!

My yesterday began with a manicure. Tammy and her husband Rick are entrepreneurs. Mid-thirties at best. Tammy in the U.S. about 14 years. From Vietnam. Became a citizen last year. Rick of Vietnamese extraction. Born in the U.S.

They have a great business. Employ many. Work hard. Achieving the American dream. I doubt they are the type people Trump would praise and acknowledge. They do not rape, kill, pillage, rob, do drugs. Why not?

Chart Room last night. Quiet. Enjoyed a couple of drinks and moved on to the Beach Bar. John was working the Beach Bar last night.

Glad I stopped by. Ran into Dan and Stephanie from Ohio. Never met them before this week. Have enjoyed their company three evenings, however.

Their time in Paradise coming to an end. Leave Tuesday for home. Expect to return some time this summer.

Dan and Stephanie were heading to the Pride Follies. Good choice, I advised. Mentioned that Rick Dery of Dueling Bartenders was the director. Recommended Dueling Bartenders on Monday nights to them.

A quiet Saturday evening. I was home in bed before 9.

The Key West Citizen’s weekend edition ran a major article re Mallory Square and the homeless. The homeless becoming a problem.

Mallory Square is where the sunset is watched every evening. Hundreds of people. All ages. A cat through a wheel of fire, a man swallowing a sword, etc.

A growing group of homeless are getting drunk, argumentative, threaten each other, harass customers and vendors for money, sleep illegally, etc.

Key West is a great venue for the homeless. Many are snowbirds. Visit our island for the season. Then drift off till next Fall because the humidity becomes heavy and uncomfortable. A size able group remains, however.

Key West takes care of its homeless. Two very huge air conditioned tents, showers, cots with clean sheets each night, food at several locations, etc. No reason for them to camp at Mallory Square. A business place for vendors and tourists.

One thing sure in our country, the rich are getting richer while the poor poorer. Corporate America is not and has not for a number of years shared its successes.

An example is Toys R Us. Filed for bankruptcy. One week before the filing voted top echelon people $8 million in bonuses. The 30,000 workers who will be without jobs, nothing. No severance pay. Not a penny.

To compound the wrong, in the year before the filing the CEO was paid $11.2 million.

Much federal legislation has been blocked by a handful of far rights who were elected to Congress. Some, not all, appear a bit wacky when on television.

There appears to be a larger number of crazies running for Congress this year. This group’s ideologies different from the far righters. Some will be elected. It is the way of elections in recent years.

Three examples.

Nathan Larson. A Virginia Libertarian. Running as an independent. Supports abolishing age restrictions for marriage (a nice way of saying pedophilia is ok), supports abolishing laws opposed to marital rape, believes women should be under the control of men, is a white supremacist, believes Hitler was a good thing for Germany, believes incest should be legalized.

Patrick Little. A Republican candidate for the Senate representing California. Denies the Holocaust and calls for a country “free from Jews.”

Little is popular. He is running second in polls to Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. California’s strange election laws could result in him being elected.

Arthur Jones. Chicago area. A candidate for Congress. Denies the Holocaust, a former leader of the American Nazi Party, believes people of color are mentally inferior to whites.

Jones is the official Republican candidate. He is running in a very strong Democratic district where no other Republican wanted to waste time running.

Some things are hard to understand. The Kim/Trump Summit is scheduled to begin in Singapore June 12. Kim will be staying at the 5 star Fullerton Hotel. The Presidential suite costs $6,000 a night. Kim’s staff has to be housed also.

Kim/North Korea refuse to pay the bill. The U.S. looking for a means to legally pay the bill.

Sung-Yoon Lee is a Tufts University Korean expert. He says re the payment quandary, “North Korea can build nukes and ICBMs, but claim they are too poor to pay for foreign travel costs.”

Trump apparently considers himself the summit king now that the meeting with North Korea is locked in. Trump indicated yesterday he wants a summit with Putin arranged.

Putin will eat him up.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

ROBERT GRADUATES MONTESSORI

Catch up time. Two days of blogs in one. My comments limited to local happenings. I leave Trump and world events to another day.

The most important happening was Robert’s graduation yesterday from Montessori. In August, he will start high school.

Robert turned 14 two weeks ago. He is tall and thin, good looking. A radiating smile. Excellent student, excellent tennis player.

A good boy.

It was 14 years ago less two weeks that Robert was in Miami Children’s hospital. Within hours of being born. He had been born with cancer of the liver.

Two major surgeries the first two weeks of his life. He stands tall and healthy today anxious to move on to the next phase of his life.

God bless.

A conflict in the Malcom household yesterday. Ally’s 13th birthday. On the same day as Robert’s graduation. Ally did not like sharing HER day. She celebrates with her girl friends tomorrow night with a sleep over. The family Happy Birthday sunday following dinner.

Poppa loves you Ally. Happy Birthday!

Lets begin with thursday.

Haircut with Lori. Always a pleasant experience. Roughly seventeen years she has been my “barber.”

Followed by lunch at Sandy’s Cafe a few doors down White Street from Lori’s Blown Away.

Began thursday evening with a Meet and Greet party at Dan and Stephanie’s condo on Simonton. The candidate Greg Daniels. He is running for Utility Board Seat D.

If you live between Big Pine and Key West you can vote for Greg. He has deep utility/power experience. Close to 20 years worth.

I had only met Greg one time before. At the Chart Room several years ago. His wife Donna an accountant in Key West.

Donna is from my former home town Utica. Reason enough to vote for her husband Greg. One more reason. The most important. Both Donna and I married into the same family. Her former husband and my former wife were cousins. We survived the marriages and divorces to now live better lives in Paradise.

From the Meet and Greet, I went to the Chart Room. Glad I did! David was there! Not Chart Room David. Don’s Place’s David.

I have not seen David in several months. One of the good guys of the world. Built like and looks like Santa Claus. Has Santa’s heart. Always there to lend a helping hand.

David was at the Chart Room with his friend Robbie. They are soon off to Cozumel for a vacation. Robbie’s sister Karen was visiting and with them.

Also at the Chart Room were Phil and Nichole from Auburn, Alabama. Originally from the Chicago area.

Interesting people. Especially Phil. Phil was a banker for 25 years. Decided to change jobs. Finally did what he wanted to do from the beginning. Teach school. Took a few courses to qualify and now serves as a high school teacher.

Nichole a human relations manager.

A 52 year old homeless man ended his life thursday afternoon. He tied a rope to the railing of the Cow Key Bridge and jumped.

I think it takes more courage to kill one’s self than remain living.

Friday morning was Robert’s graduation. Two items require comment.

The event was held in the Commission Chambers of the new City Hall. Outstanding room! Worth the money! Key Westers can take pride!

The other comment concerns Trump. He complains of immigrants. He is a racist. He should have been at the graduation. Most of the graduates’ names were difficult to pronounce. Literally came from all parts of the world. As to color, tan predominated.

This is the world of today. The graduates represent America’s leaders of tomorrow. Whatever Trump may want, he cannot mold America into what he and his small band of followers might desire.

Back to Sandy’s Cafe. Convenient. Two blocks from City Hall.

At one, Emil La Voche’s funeral service at the Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea. A long name. Key West’s Catholic Church.

I only came to know Emil this past year. We met when I joined the Sons and Daughters of Italy. A quiet man. Appeared well liked by all. He led us in prayer and Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each meeting.

I learned of his distinguished background only after reading his obituary. Emil spent 31 years in the U.S. Army. Retired a Lt. Colonel. Fought in Korea and Vietnam. Twice parachuted into battle.

After retiring from the military, he joined the Sheriff’s Department. Retired from that position after 25 years. Did not stop him from continuing. He followed the 25 years with another 9 helping out at the Sheriff’s Department as a reserve deputy.

The Church was packed. The parking lot and surrounding streets crowded with cars.

The number paying homage to Emil can best be described in one word: Respect. He was deserving of it.

A dinner party last night at Donna and Terri’s. Donna cooking, of course. What a cook! A culinary expert! The Julia Child of Key West!

George and Art were dinner guests also. George and Art have a new dog. A small black bull dog. Two weeks younger than Bear who is growing at a rapid rate. Now, huge.

The two played terrifically with each other all night. Like little kids. Best of friends.

Speaking of Julia Child, I recall seeing her kitchen when I visited the Smithsonian Museum of American History. The Museum recreated her kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts exactly as it was.

One housekeeping item. A screw up re my KONK Life column.

This week’s should have been The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday. Will not be. Last week’s column was the Right To Declare War. When it was being printed, the last 25 percent was omitted. The best part from my perspective. I described Trump and Kim’s words at the time as being who had the bigger dick.

To correct the omission, KONK Life reprinted the War Declaration article in its entirely this week. The FBI/Jews article will not appear till next week.

KONK Life also publishes for the internet its daily E-Blast. The FBI/Jews article did appear in yesterday’s E-Blast if you wish to read it early.

WordPress has begun publishing my KONK Life column on my Facebook page. You can find the article there now.

Enjoy your day!

 

BUBBA BUSTS

Bubbas are native born Key Westers. Also referred to as Conchs. A distinction. Those so born are proud of their heritage. Bubbas are also those who though not born in Key West have been residents a very long time and are deeply entwined in the business of the community.

On this day in 1985, the jury returned in a federal court criminal case involving 14 Bubbas. Twelve were found guilty. Involved were drugs.

The 1985 bust was not the only Bubba bust. There was one 10 years earlier in 1975 and another 10 years later in 1995. The feds would swoop down and make arrests.

The federal authorities in 1995 were concerned local authorities would reveal the investigation. The feds never advised local authorities of the investigation till arrests had actually been made.

The 1975 Bubba bust is best remembered.

James “Bum” Farto was Fire Chief. He was arrested and convicted of drug dealing. Following conviction, he disappeared on a trip to Miami. His car was found in a Latino neighborhood.

Bum Farto has never been found. A famous saying has developed over the years: Bum Farto Where are You? On tee shirts, etc. Farto has gained more notoriety in disappearing than if he had lived a calm routine life as Key West Fire Chief.

Tuesdays always quiet for me. I remain at home and fine tune my podcast to be delivered at 9 in the evening. The Show: Tuesday Talk with key West Lou.

Show went well last night. Love doing it! I sit back and vent. Share my feelings with everyone.

My numbers are increasing. I have national advertisers. Who would have believed!

Yesterday’s Rosanne Barr incident. ABC and Disney did the right thing. Costly, also. Not only for ABC and Disney. The many minions who worked the show, also. The little people. A hit show and their jobs lost.

Roseanne has a big mouth. Always has. Even 20 years ago. Would she have been as racist in her comments yesterday were it not for Donald Trump?

A President sets the moral tone for the country. The standard. Trump is a racist. Ergo, everyone else is entitled to be. He gives license to the Roseanne Barrs to be more vocal than they might have been.

This week’s KONK Life hits the stands at 5 this evening. My column this week: The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday. One of the best columns I have written. Read it, if possible.

In May 1937, the Volkswagen was born. Hitler wanted a state owned automobile company that could produce a cheap car. An affordable vehicle for the masses.

Hitler achieved his goal. The Volkswagen. Cost under 1,000 Reich marks. $140 American money.

The German term for Volkswagen means “The people’s Car Company.”

Hitler’s concept got its start in 1937. The company produced few or no cars. Hitler needed tanks. The plant was converted to a tank making facility.

The U.S. is in a time of diminishing influence world wide. For this we have Donald Trump to thank.

An example being the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear pact. There was and is money to be made in and with Iran. China recognized this fact immediately. It was recently announced a Chinese investment firm is going to invest $2 billion in an oil refining plant in Iran.

China and Russia are looking for ways to invest in Iran.

On this day in 1431, Joan of Arc was martyred. She was burned at the stake. By decision of the Catholic Church.

Burning at the stake. A religious inspired death. Concerned and caring.

Not one of the Church’s finest moments.

Church and government do not mix. Like oil and water.

We have a problem today with religion. Evangelicals have become politicized. They support Trump regardless of his many wrongdoings. The Catholic Church also on occasion.

Not a healthy scenario.

Have to hustle. I have a late morning heart doctor appointment with Dr. McIvor. Routine.

Frequent doctoring a scourge for the elderly. Tiring. A pain in itself. Necessary, however. I am glad I am able to do it.

Enjoy your day!

SOUND FAMILIAR?

History repeats itself. No question about it. Some learn from history. Good and bad.

The NFL, National Anthem, kneel, don’t kneel, Trump’s influence, continue. Not soon to be resolved. The NFL’s recent proclamation re stand or remain in the locker room added fuel to the fire.

A similar situation existed in Nazi Germany. Involved German football players, standing before a game, shouting with outstretched arms Heil Hitler.

Christmas Day 1933. Metz, France. The German team the Karlsruhe Football Club. Playing a French team in France.

Anti-German tensions had been running high. The French sensed a riot in the making. They asked the German team not to Heil Hitler! If they did, the French team would not play and the German team would receive no compensation.

The German Club capitulated to the French demands.

Hitler was furious.

A German newspaper described the situation as “Footballers In Disgrace.”

Hitler banned all German football teams from playing outside Germany till further notice.

Hitler’s influence was obvious. As was the fear of him by the German Football Association. The German Football Association issued a written “encouragement.” Actually, a mandate. The teams were to expel Jewish players, the players were required to give the Hitler salute before and after games, swastikas were to be displayed in stadiums.

Forced patriotism.

Was Trump aware of the German football problem when he came out with the National Anthem position? Does the NFL stand in the shoes of the German football Association? Are Heil Hitler and standing for the National Anthem forced patriotism? Comparable in any fashion?

Ivana Trump in a 1990 Vanity Fair interview claimed husband Donald kept Hitler’s book My New Order by his bedside. The book a compilation of Hitler’s speeches from his earliest days to the 1939 Phony War.

Did My New Order contain references to the Heil Hitler/football problem?

I sense the NFL/kneel or no kneel/National Anthem problem is history repeating itself.

Some readers will disagree. I see the comments coming already. They will distinguish Heil Hitler from the National Anthem, the German players not having an alternative to remain in the locker room, Trump not being Hitler, etc.

My response in advance: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and acts like a duck, it is a duck.

A busy  Memorial Day.

Spent the daytime working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. It changes right up to show time based on what happens during the day.

Join me. The show is fast moving, interesting, and in many instances revealing. Nine my time. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Terri was singing last night with Dueling Bartenders. Picked her up early and delivered her to Aqua. Terri’s driving days are over.

Enjoyed Tom, Rick and Terri performing. John from the Chart Room showed up. Donna came in from work.

John joined Donna, Terri and me for dinner at the Conch Republic. We shared three large trays of oysters. Excellent!

Last but not least, Alberto. Typical of tropical storms, Alberto fizzled out.

No problem in the Keys, except for excessive rain leading up to Alberto’s arrival.

Alberto hit the Panhandle a tropical storm. However as it passed over and onto land, was down graded to a depression. Which means continued heavy rain for a few days in north Florida and States beyond.

As I drove along Smathers Beach on my way to pick up Terri, I noticed white caps. Not high. Many in number. Side by side, one behind another, rolling up to the beach.

So many white caps rare for Key West. Too late for Alberto. Not sure why they were there.

Enjoy your day!

MILE HIGH CLUB DANGEROUS

Sex in the sky! On an airplane, of course. Referred to as the Mile High Club.

I always wanted to try it. In my working days, I generally flew first or business class. Many overnight flights. Would have been easy to accomplish. My wife disagreed. Thought I was crazy.

At 82, I can look back and say there is not much I have missed. Reluctantly, the Mile High Club is one.

Apparently, the deed on a commercial flight is now considered criminal. A 48 year old woman and 28 year old man met on a Delta flight recently. She orally copulated him. They were arrested on landing.

Today being a holiday, I filled some prescriptions yesterday. Walgreens first. Then to Sandy’s Cafe for lunch. The usual. Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Dripping in butter. To die for!

My cell phone was not working. Stopped at Verizon in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center. Sim card dirty. The young lady knew immediately. Took it out and cleaned it with an eraser on the end of a pencil. Amazing!

Watched Cavaliers/Celtics game 7. For the right to go to the NBA Finals. Celtics favored. Cavaliers won 87-79.

LeBron James responsible. He carried his team all the way! Scored 35 points. Many assists. A couple of blocked shots. He did it all!

The Cavaliers won because they were experienced. Had been there before. Did not falter when down 12 points in the first quarter.

The Celtics an excellent team. Need seasoning, however. As the game went on, their youth was evident. Too many mistakes that only time teaches a player not to make.

The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum only 20 years old. A star already! What a future he has ahead of him.

This will be the 8th consecutive NBA Final that LeBron James will be playing in.

SH*T SHOW. A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie LeDuff. He was on Morning Joe today.

LeDuff views America in crisis. He shares places and happenings reflecting the same. From Ferguson to Flint to Trump’s unstoppable campaign for President.

He talked how Trump during the campaign was suggesting a return to 1950’s type living. Actually, LeDuff said it would have been the 1990’s. Not enough people around who remember the 1950’s.

I do. My college and law school years. The time I married. My son born. Bought my first car. People employed. Etc. Good years. I have always recalled them fondly. Everything kumbaya. I have mentioned the 1950’s in the past as a good time to have lived in the U.S. The Eisenhower years.

Today, Memorial Day.

No Key West parade. I checked throughout the Keys. No parades anywhere. Many commemorative events, however.

A day when the graves of those who died for their country are decorated with flowers.

The custom interestingly began back in the Civil War. Both sides did it. The decorating and remembrance that went with it continued and grew to what it is today. Whether the 1860’s or today, emotions the same.

Tonight, Aqua for Dueling Bartenders.

Obama spoke wednesday in Las Vegas at a technology conference hosted by Okata, the identity security company. He said, “America may not survive.”

He added, “I think the big challenge today is how we maintain a sense of common purpose rather than splinter or divide. We are seeing this debated on social media every day, but if we don’t figure it out then our society and democracy may not survive…..part of our polarization is that if you watch Fox News all day, or read the New York Times, you are occupying two different realities.”

Alberto still on the move. Has not made landfall yet. Continues to aim for the Panhandle. Other parts of Florida and other States subject to heavy rains and flash flooding.

It has already rained heavy 2 times this morning in Key West.

Ellicott City, Maryland experienced disaster yesterday. Unexpected. Six inches of rain in two hours. Rivers overflowing, rampaging. Cars swept away. Rising water reaching the third floor of some homes.

Google News is running a video. Find it and see first hand. I could not believe what my eyes beheld. Water running down streets 1 or 2 stories high. Cars being lifted and swept away.

I am beginning to think someone upstairs is trying to tell us something.

Key West gas prices the past 3 hours from $3.10 to $3.15 a gallon. Predicted to go higher over the summer. Experts say the blame falls on Saudi Arabia who decided to curb production in 2016 so prices would rise.

I recall the Saudis as “our friends” who gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

Trump/Iran not significant in the price increase. Only 3-5 cents.

Student loans always in the news. Some high. Higher than I thought.

Mike Mera is 37. An orthodontist. Borrowed $600,056 for his education. Now owes in excess of $1 million. He makes his monthly payment religiously. $1,589.97. Will never get ahead. The interest is $130 a day. Per month, $3,9000.

He’s not the only one. One hundred one borrowers owe in excess of $1 million.

I am not a bird expert. One who is is an ornithologist. I looked up the word.

The reason is this past week I discovered two birds living in my walled yard. Bigger than a sparrow, smaller than a pigeon. Shades of brown.

They obviously are a couple. They are together all day. Generally sit on a wood bench in the corner next to each other. Rarely move. Never fight.

Enjoy your holiday!

 

 

 

KICK BALL IN MYSTIC…..INDIAN HEADS USED

Several times over the years, the Puritan/Pequot Indian battles have come to my attention. The battles interesting for various reasons. Each time I have written about them.

Today, I again write concerning one of the battles. To evidence the Christian souls of the early Puritans. Supposedly God fearing. I doubt however they were listening to God when they acted in Mystic in 1637.

The Pequot Indian battles consisted of three separate engagements. The first this day in 1637.

The Pequot Indians were not nice people. Far from it. Disliked the Puritan settlers especially. The Pequots were prone to attack the Puritans.

The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay were equally not nice. Disliked the Pequots. Decided to kill them all.

In the early morning darkness, the Puritans attacked in Mystic a sleeping Pequot camp consisting of 500 men, women and children. Massacred them. Most of the 500 killed.

Retribution? Who knows why wars really start. It was the next step in the Mystic battle that makes me look down upon the supposedly religious Puritans.

The blood of the 500 was not enough. The Puritans beheaded some of the Indian dead. Then proceeded to play kick ball with the heads down the streets of Mystic.

Rain in the morning yesterday. Rain again last night. I’m waiting for my house to float away.

I spent the day inside. Continued working on next week’s KONK Life column in the afternoon. Was getting ready to shower and go into town when it began raining again. Waited a while. Did not stop. Forget stopping, did not even let up a bit.

Decided to remain home. Enjoyed a small meal and watched the Cavalier/Celtic game.

LeBron James has to be the greatest basketball player of all time. He was on his game last night. Scored 46 points leading Cleveland to victory.

The final playoff game sunday night.

I had spent two afternoons preparing to write next week’s KONK Life column. The topic excited me. When I sat to do the blog at 6 this morning, I decided to write the KONK article instead.

The column completed and sent to the KONK editor. It will hit the stands wednesday evening.

The topic involves Trump, Hitler, lying, the Jews, and the FBI. Titled: The FBI of Today The Jews of Yesterday.

The topic intrigued me. The more I researched, the more interested I became. I am uncertain of the final product. My research may have been better than my writing in this instance. The subject matter difficult to explore with a 500 word limit.

Which means I am sitting here writing today’s blog at 11:30. Never that late!

Big evening tonight! Dinner with my lesbian wives Donna and Terri. I have not seen Donna in two weeks. She has been in Detroit visiting family.

I wrote a couple off days ago about the wonderful multi-facted Laura Richardson. Singer, bartender, Salt Gallery owner, newspaper reporter.

Amy Bondurant e-mailed me. Amy a former U.S. Ambassador. Now a Key West resident. Presently in Maryland preparatory to heading off to her Paris home.

Amy knows Laura and agrees she is multi-talented. Amy shared with me something I did not know. Laura is also an attorney.

The media is mentioning Alberto today when referring to the weather. Alberto has become a for real storm. Presently a sub-tropical storm.

It is anticipated Alberto will hit the westerly coast of Cuba and then come north into the Gulf of Mexico. Landfall anywhere from Louisiana to the Panhandle monday night or tuesday morning.

Alberto will not come near Key West. It will be way out to the west in the Gulf.

Does not mean Key West is not a player. Heavy rains anticipated through wednesday. Winds in the Keys up to 40 mph. Flash flooding a major danger to the southern Keys.

The irony of all this is that the hurricane season has not begun. Not till June 1 which is next friday.

Creatures of the sea get the best medical attention in the Keys. Especially, turtles. The Turtle Hospital is located in Marathon.

A small injured turtle was found off Little Palm Island. A rare species. A Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. Entangled in a fishing line.

The little one has been names Echo. His problem a broken flipper.  He has been treated with laser therapy, wound care, antibiotics, fluids and vitamins.

His hospital stay anticipated to be 2 months.

The heavy rains can be disruptive of Key West fun times. The annual Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta had been scheduled for tomorrow. Rescheduled to next sunday because of the rain.

Memorial Day ceremonies begin early monday. Nine at the Maine Memorial in the Cemetery. Ten at Bayview Park.

A parade? Not sure. Must be. I’ll find out and let you know.

United Airlines announced it will begin direct flights with Newark in the Fall. With Chicago, mid December.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

WHAT A GLORIOUS FEELIN’…..I’M SINGING IN THE RAIN

The deluge has begun this morning. Amazing! So much rain on such a consistent basis.

Interestingly, no one appears to be upset with the rain. Including the tourists. They have been able to sneak in a few hours of sun bathing here and there.

The rain reminds me of Gene Kelly’s singing/dancing scene in the 1952 movie Singin’ In The Rain. A smile on his face.

Though the movie was produced in 1952, the title song was composed in 1929. Took a while to gain popularity.

The movie was not much of a hit when released. It took a few years. Today is considered the fifth best movie of all time.

The song rings in my head. The first 8 lines the most significant: “I’m singin’ in the rain / Just singing in the rain / What a glorious feelin’ / I’m happy again / I’m happy at clouds / So dark up above / The sun’s in my heart / And I’m ready for love.”

A lot of rain is best signified by what has fallen on Key West this month: 9.68 inches to date. The whole year to date: 13.25 inches. The numbers speak for themselves.

Now the good news (written with tongue in cheek). A tropical storm or hurricane is forming. Big rain. Will hit northern Florida sunday night. Alberto. Not expected to be bad. A category 1 if a hurricane.

After Irma, I find it difficult to believe anything re hurricanes. Hurricanes are fickle. They do  not move as anticipated. Nor are their winds always as projected. The storm has a will of its own.

Alberto can impact the lower Keys rather than northern Florida.

Alberto will be the topic of conversation in homes, around bars, etc. for the next 48-72 hours.

Spent yesterday afternoon working on next week’s KONK Life column. May actually write it this afternoon.

Driving to the Chart Room last night, I was surprised how little traffic there was. US 1 was not crowded at all, nor was the Boulevard.

It will all change beginning today. Heavy traffic anticipated for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Quiet at the Chart Room. Just John and I for a while. Then Omar came in. Met Omar for the first time.

Omar’s mother of Italian descent. Made for interesting conversation. Which got even better when Omar revealed he had gone to Syracuse University College of Law for a couple of months. He did not enjoy it. Left and got a Masters instead in Economics. Then worked on Wall street for years.

We live in scary times. Uncalled for, except for Trump’s antics.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis gave the commencement address to the Air Force Academy last night. Nine hundred eighty four new lieutenants. Four hundred heading for pilot training.

Mattis told the graduates to prepare for war…..They must be ready to fight and win.

A news item came to my attention this morning. The Air Force is considering calling 1,000 pilots out of retirement. For stints up to 48 months. A shortage of qualified pilots exists.

A U.S. war declaration has to be on most minds these days. The question arises as to who has the right to declare war. Most people believe it is Congress. Technically, yes. However the Presidency has usurped that power since the Korean War.

My KONK Life article on the stands at the moment is titled Right To Declare War. Read it, if you can. It explores the problem.

KONK life also publishes a daily internet news letter. E-Blast. This morning’s news letter carries the KONK Life column Right To Declare War, also.

Good basketball tonight. Cleveland/Boston. Boston up 3-2 in the playoffs. People are saying LeBron James older and tired whereas Boston’s players young and have more energy.

Cleveland has to win tonight or the season is over for them.

Wish you could be sitting with me and hear the rain in the background. The heavy rain driven by the wind. Sort of ominous.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

RIP-OFF RAPID RESPONSE TEAM

Several years ago, a new type sales store appeared on Duval Street. A cosmetic shop. Sold all kinds of goodies to enhance a woman’s facial features.

Soon there were more such shops.

Each engaged in overcharging. Significantly. Unknown to the purchaser. A $300 purchase showing up on a customer’s credit card billing as $3,000 for example.

The police did not consider the problem criminal. The ripped off customer was left to suing the store directly. A long tedious process uncertain of success.

A handful of Key West citizens decided to do something about it. A vigilante committee of sorts.

The group organized the Rip-Off Rapid Response Team. They fought the cosmetic shops not with guns. Rather with signs and picketing. The signs reflecting the fraud involved.

The group almost immediately became successful. The cosmetic merchants did not want a bunch of vocal crazies (from their perspective) spoiling business.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has a front page story and photo of the group in action.

One of the cosmetic stores had overcharged/ripped off a 54 year old Vermont visitor to the tune of $9,752. It took sign carrying picketers 1 1/2 hours to get the store to capitulate. The cosmetic store reimbursed the ripped off man the $9,752.

Congratulations to the do gooders!

I have a concern, however. What continually happens in these situations is fraud. Clear and simple. Why do the police not deal with the problem?

Key West’s finest are the finest. I think our police force does an excellent job. However in this regard, they fail the public they serve.

My understanding is the police consider the rip-off a civil matter. Not a criminal one. Ergo, the defrauded person has to resort to civil remedies.

I don’t buy it. It’s like passing the buck, I don’t want to get involved.

A similar situation existed with the former Scrub Club on Duval. Men would go in understanding a “massage” was $300. When the credit card bill was received, it was $3,000. The police refused to get involved. Considered the wrongdoing a civil matter.

Comcast. A pain the ass! Finally got a repairman. Took five days.

Learned something I did not know. The repair people do not work for Comcast. Comcast contracts out the repair work. To a Tennessee company. The company maintains 7 repair men in the Key West area.

From what I could determine, the repair people are overloaded. My repair man showed up around 6 last night. Was due between 1 and 3.

Spent yesterday afternoon preparing for my podcast show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Then the show at 9.

I have become sick and tired of Trump, Trump, Trump, in the news. All around us. Last night I did a show 95 percent non-
Trump. A change of pace. There are other things happening in the world we should be aware of, think about, discuss.

A point to be made with most of the topics. Of course, I made the point in each instance.

The show is archived. You can listen to it at any time at your convenience. You might especially enjoy listening to last night’s show. www.blogtalkradio/key-west-lou.

This week’s KONK Life on the stands. My column Right To Declare War. Congress’ right Constitutionally. However one that the Presidency has usurped since the Korean War. Interesting reading.

Pythons a dramatic problem in south Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Pythons sexually inclined. Now number in excess of one million. Most centered in the Everglades.

They can never be eliminated, eradicated. Too many. Hopefully, contained.

The State of Florida is always declaring war on the pythons. Last year, the State authorized 25 hunters to catch and kill them. A joke! Since March 2017, the 25 have caught 1,000 so far.

Like a drop of water in the ocean or adding a grain of sand to a beach.

Dentist appointment at 11:30. I think the endoscopy procedure might have screwed up an implant.

Enjoy your day!